Tag Archives: cross media marketing

The best of 2015. From interactive print to multichannel

My final blog post to round up 2015. Death_to_stock_photography_weekend_work (9 of 10)

Like you, I’m sure you are sitting at your desk wondering how this year came and went. Sure scares the heck out of me.

Although the world has been troubled and unstable, marketing, social media and print are holding their own.

I think 2015 has really been about making content and marketing work better through cross media marketing and personalisation.

Connect Connection Networking Communication Concept

Companies are waking up to the knowledge that it isn’t good enough emailing or sending a generic marketing piece whether it is print or electronic.

It is about understanding your audience and knowing how to ensure that they get the information they need.

This is easier said than done.

I read a lot about ‘big data’ how organisations need to monopolise data capture and customer data to get the sales pitch right.

No one really knows what big data is and what impact it is having.

In reality big data is a load of data that has been captured either digitally or via traditional methods, like direct mail, web, social media interactions and then entered into a CRM type system.

Then comes the pondering moment, what the heck do we do with all this data?

multichannel servicesMy posts this year focussed on the importance of using print with digital methods of communication, ensuring the customer has the choice how they choose to receive information.

Augmented Reality is still in its infancy optimised by magazines, newspapers and larger organisations.

I expect to see this develop as we all see the benefits of reading something in the physical world before being transported into the digital world.

In March I introduced you to multichannel services – what is it and what are the benefits.

Multichannel marketing is the ability to interact with customers on a number of different platforms giving the customer the choice.

multichannel servicesMultichannel service works similarly allowing customers to simultaneously access their transactional information like invoices, statements and payslips online or being given the choice of receiving a physical printed document.

What makes multichannel so appealing is the fact that any of the above information can be accessed via a smartphone and I wrote about the benefits of it here.

In July, I reported on the Royal Mail’s findings following a survey they conducted into email and print marketing.Stacked Mail

There is a genuine misconception that print is on the decline but the report found when used in conjunction with email marketing it is an effective marketing tool.

The point I’ve tried to convey during this year is that we don’t need to be solely in the digital world.

Customers want to be able to access information on a variety of devices when they want to and not be forced into making a choice.

Print and digital work well together, print is now the first touchpoint before the consumer is taken into the digital world via QR codes or AR (Augmented Reality).

qr code on smartphone screenPrint use to be the end of a marketing campaign now it is the start of a journey for the consumer to make a purchase.

One of the services we provide at Digital Print Management is our Print-2-Mail service.

It is a great way for companies to mail out residual statements and invoices, for those customers that won’t or can’t accept electronic equivalents.

One of the reasons hybrid mail is so useful is the ability to upload documents from your desktop, we take care of the rest and it is cheaper than doing it in house.

In November I attended a really interesting seminar on the transformation of print in an ever changing world.

Unsurprisingly speakers from big organisations including Sky were adamant that print plays a crucial role in their marketing initiatives.

Far from being dead, print is not better than digital it is simply another way of consuming information and is demographic dependent.

Producing content means that we really do need to think about where our audience is, are they mobile, internet based?

Marketing departments have to produce content that is digestible on all platforms from print to web, online and social media.

I end where I started, in my penultimate blog ‘the future of interactive print’.

I emphasise the importance of using print as well as electronic means of communication by optimising new technologies such as interactive print (AR).

Making content come alive on the page and jump out at you is a fun way to really engage with an audience that is continually bombarded with mass information.

Wherever you consume information and whatever your thoughts on print and digital the argument will continue.

Our world is so fast paced and we are forever being bombarded with information.

Sometimes winding down with a good book or magazine without the distractions of pop up ads and links takes us away from reality and into a place of calm and slowness.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my posts this year and I appreciate the time you have taken to read and share my content.

I hope that they have been useful.

From all of us at Digital Print Management…

Happy New Year Hanging Baubles Blue Bokeh Beautiful 3D

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to drive your customer relationships using mail and email

Last year I wrote about the impact of digital on mail and email.multi channel services

Whilst there maybe a genuine perception that print is on the decline the Royal Mail report found otherwise.

Print and email working in collaboration and using cross media marketing, (also referred to as multi channel marketing) works very effectively.

I am often asked for advice on how to go about adopting a multi channel marketing strategy.

Why I will not profess to being a marketing expert my knowledge of print combined with personalisation and social media gives me the objectivity to look at a marketing campaign and help define it for the customer.

I thought I would share with you a recent marketing/print campaign Digital Print Management fulfilled for one of its customers.

stay on targetThe starting point has to be what do you hope to get out of it?

By this, I mean not ‘more business’ or more customers, we all want that but what objectives do you want to get out of your campaign?

Being able to interact with your customers and prospects through multi channel marketing is necessary for companies to get their message out

Here’s an example of a cross media campaign using mail and email ?iStock_000026350319Small

Generating interest with print by using an interesting and engaging format so that when it lands on the doormat the consumer is highly likely to read and do something with it or take action.

A car dealership has a target list of 3,750 customers whom they would like to get in contact with and who haven’t visited their dealership in the last 18 months.

The key objective of marketing to these people is to motivate customers to come back to the dealership by scheduling a routine service and by offering a free oil change and a 15% discount off the standard service.

  • The dealership sends out personalised postcards with PURLs – the postcards and emails are uniquely personalised and individualised according to each customer’s past purchasing history
  • The customers receive the postcards and some do respond to the PURL – the invitation to visit the PURL is a way of inviting the customer to redeem coupons that they can then use at the dealership against a service/oil change
  • The inclusion of a PURL ensures that all the responses and updates are captured and the customer data list is updated
  • The response actions that are captured from the PURL trigger a personalised email which is sent to those respondents who didn’t respond inviting them to click onto the same PURL
  • A follow up email is then scheduled to go out to those who didn’t take up the offer in 5 days

Stacked MailThis is the customer decision stage by sending the prospects a mail piece that communicates a clear and persuasive benefit with a link to your website is more likely to encourage engagement.

When customers respond using the PURL they arrive at a personalised landing page which has their name and address details.

They are asked to confirm or update their details and then request to enter a code which is printed on the email or postcard so they can redeem their coupons.

Once the purchase is made, in this instance the redeeming of coupons an email is generated welcoming them back to the dealership; a welcome pack which is highly personalised is then sent out to them.

Whilst they are redeeming their coupons there are a whole host of other coupons that they can also redeem in exchange for more information about the condition of the car, how old it is, when was the last time they had it serviced, what time of day do they prefer to schedule a service, do they own more than one car from the same manufacturer.

Each coupon they click on encourages the customer to give more information which can later be used for future campaigns.

Where do I start?

Identify your marketing objective? In the above example it was to get in contact with former customers of the car dealership.

Do you have accurate data? In this example the dealership had a defined customer contact base of 3,750 former customers.

What technology or platform are you using? Can you manage this in-house if so how will it be managed and do you have the technology/software and resources to ensure it’s monitored through to completion.

OR

Outsource it to a cross media specialist  who can work with you and design the campaign to meet your objectives.

Empty asphalt road towards cloud and signs symbolizing success a

To ensure successful results there must be a planning process – who is your target audience, which media channels are right, what offer(s) and how then are the responses going to be captured and used.

Keeping the offer relevant and personalised to the customer should yield positive results.

Before managing a large campaign plan a test run with different offers, this will hi-light what works and what doesn’t, the campaign can then be upgraded to include your target audience, whatever the size.

A follow up plan is crucial to keep the momentum going and in this instance the follow up process which included an email could also include a postcard was used where people hadn’t responded in 5 days.

All actions and responses were measured when the customer clicked through to the PURLs.

The highly targeted and personalised win back stage is useful where customers have parted with information but have chosen not to redeem vouchers, sending a follow up mail piece is a useful way of staying in touch with those prospects that didn’t redeem their coupons.

How to avoid the pitfalls

  1. Be selective when it comes to the channels you intend to communicate your offer, too much and it becomes another sales blast.
  2. Whilst I’m a big advocate of personalisation, too much of ‘Hi Caroline, Caroline it’s been 18 months since, Caroline we think you might like this’ and so on then becomes a pain and is immediately off putting.
  3. Make the offer relevant and meaningful
  4. No campaign will be 100% successful first time out. Be prepared to modify, adapt and test the offer
  5. Keep any content either in print or digital relevant to the offer and to your audience

Some things to think about?

Sending paper bills or statements encourages retention and faster payment by using the white space on a paper bill or electronic statement to promote any services and offers you are promoting.

Renewal – as renewal time approaches send your customers a personalised mail piece that reminds them of the benefits they will receive as well as the future benefits they will be able to access after they have renewed with your.

Following up with an email is a great way to get them to make a decision but also makes them feel valued.

You can also find more information here 

 

How does print management fit into our digital world?

I’m a big advocate of print as part of your marketing strategy, I CMYK printing conceptbelieve it’s a great way to engage with your customers in the first instance and a great place to start their buying journey.

When it comes to marketing material, print arouses the senses notably sight and touch unlike its digital counterpart, print gives customers something physical to hold, to browse through and is easier to refer back to when needed.

The print industry embraced the digital world back in the early 90’s.

Think digital printing – short run in any number of variations and types, highly personalised and customised.

print word in letterpress typePrint was the leader in optimising personalisation and customisation in the online world.

Where do you think the big brands got their ideas to drive customer engagement with personalized messages and customised landing pages?

Print of course!

Does print management still fit into our social media and digital world?

I believe it does.

In the past, companies had no idea what their print spend was, senior executives had no idea about the number of print devices in use, the cost of paper and supplies, let alone the cost of the overall print bill, excluding corporate stationery and items.

Times have changed and although social media marketing has in some respects taken the lead, print is now one very important part of the content marketing process.

Print marketing has benefited from changes in our industry making it more cost effective for organisations to send out highly personalised marketing information and then following this up with social media campaigns so the customer can follow the brand, company or purchase.

Some may think that print management is finished and that print based marketing is no longer needed in an ever changing social and digital world.

But they are wrong. Think business cards, leaflets, brochures, packaging, posters and invitations.

With the rise of cross media marketing which includes but is not limited to variable data print, personalised URLs (PURL), podcasts/webinars, email and social media, physical print marketing plays an active role.

For example variable data print which includes direct mail, posters, brochures and giveaways – anything that can be printed with the customer’s name, company or a content specific message.

In my last post I talked about how to add value to your print through the use of AR and QR codes.

Similarly adding a PURL enables you to capture a prospect at the point of interest.

When?Optimising a personalised web address means that you now have a way of measuring their interest and the technology to evaluate where they are in the buying journey using analytics which can report the landing pages they have arrived at.

Cross media communications are designed to move the prospect across the different media using “calls to action” with each touch point teasing the buyer to take further action and move onto the next platform.

Where does print management fit in?

Simple. Print management companies are experts in the total management of a company’s print marketing requirements – marketing print, financial print and more.

Print management means accessibility to the latest innovations not just in print but in design, new technologies like AR that can all add value to your marketing initiatives.

Being able to work with an outsourcing partner that can manage and integrate the various channels of communication makes it a very effective way of maximising business efficiencies and savings.

Empty asphalt road towards cloud and signs symbolizing success aThe marketing officer gains expertise, consultation, access to a variety of multi-channel distribution networks, brand consistency and major cost benefits

 

 

 

From content personalisation to cross media marketing.

I know, I know.

This post is late by my standards and should have been published back on the 29th December. No I haven’t been caught dog napping.English Bulldog

But without boring you with the details, I’ve decided to post now, better late than never.

As has been customary for the last two years my final post of the year has always been an overview or resource tool for you or the ‘best of’ what I’ve written during the year.

By the best of I mean the posts I’ve enjoyed writing and more importantly generated feedback and good responses. But above all else I hope it provides a useful ‘go to’ for future reference.

So how did 2014 start?

iStock_000016947992Small

It seems so long ago now doesn’t it but January came in with a flourish and I talked about the importance of document security and how to manage information especially when you are on the move.

With the use of tablets and smartphones it is so much easier to read, respond and write on the move.

But how careful do you need to be?

February and March as is customary in our business focussed on P60’s every payroll department’s worse nightmare and a cumbersome task that still needs to be managed. But outsourcing the process can save time and money. Here’s how.

content marketing strategyAnd then there was no stopping me I was off onto the importance of content personalisation and customisation in just about every working document from payslips to marketing content.

Why? Simple. Because content personalisation has everything to do with print and the physical world as it has in the digital and social world.

iStock_000023869795SmallContent personalisation is key for any direct mail or content marketing piece.

Take a look at your payslip, an invoice, social media messages.

The whole point is to make your message personalised whether it’s a message for an employee or for a customer, make it personalised and relevant and get the the message across in the right way.

March covered hybrid mail – a great way to mail out a few to several thousand letters at less than the cost of a 2nd class stamp and a service which more and more people are climbing on board because there’s no set up costs and no on-going charges. Best of all you can do it all from your desktop.

It was also the time when ‘big data’ was being talked about.

It seems like an enigma but it reality it’s simply a case of having loads of complex data sets but not understanding what to do with it.

That will be the challenge certainly for the bigger organisations in 2015.

April was the month where I really drove home the view of why print needs to be part of your content media and marketing strategy and leveraging the power of print.

Why should print be part of the cross media marketing mix when it comes to marketers planning a re-brand or delivering an important message?print word in letterpress type

May continued the theme of cross media marketing and suggested ways that a print management company can help you with planning your cross media marketing strategy.

Part of that is understanding what your customer really wants.

Mobile devicesAt the start of June I was surprised at just how many of us didn’t know what BYOD meant and how many of us are now working on our own devices at work.

This has a number of ramifications for businesses not least security but how do you legislate how employees use their own devices in the workplace.

I had a lot of fun with this blog post and it really did happen to me. How easy it is for personalisation to go horribly wrong.

What does your content marketing say about you?

Social media conceptHow do we engage with customers when there are so many social media platforms and moreover where do we find our audience?

Having achieved that how do you then get your message read or heard?

I’m regularly asked, Caroline, how can we save money on our print, not just the customary business print but the processing of print like printing and mailing invoices, statements, customer letters, so I wrote a post about it.

The ice bucket challenge was a worldwide phenomenon in August, just about everyone rose to the challenge and had a bucket of ice cold water thrown over them, I was one of them.

Why did it go viral and what did the ice bucket challenge have in common with content marketing? 

Fisheye Man Getting Ice Bucket Dumped On HeadIt’s social and online which is why it went viral and the challenge for marketers is understanding how multi-channel marketing matters in a digital world and how to be successful at delivering it time and time again.

One of my favourite posts was written in November where I talked about going digital completely and giving up the use or need for paper.

People talk about the demise of print and paper but I believe whilst it’s need has changed it still forms an important part of any marketing campaign if used intelligently with QR codes and augmented reality.

My last blog post in December argued the case for businesses needing social media.

iStock_000037124348Small

Since writing that article I’ve read at least three that have argued the demise of social media, or rather we’ve become fatigued by it.

That it has probably gone as far as it can go and millenials want more instantaneous ways of receiving their content with instant gratification.

What now for 2015?

I’m starting on the NCTJ (national council of training journalists) to develop my career and skills in writing because I enjoy researching and writing on subjects that I’m interested in.

I will continue to do my very best to serve up interesting articles throughout this year and any noteworthy industry news.

Happy New Year Hanging Baubles Blue Bokeh Beautiful 3D

Until next time.

Have a very happy new year and thank you for turning up and reading.

 

 

 

 

 

What does content marketing and the ice bucket challenge have in common?

What does the ice bucket challenge have to do with content marketing, personalisation and multi-channel communications? Fisheye Man Getting Ice Bucket Dumped On Head

A lot as it turns out.

I got nominated for the ice bucket challenge on a rather windy, rainy morning on the last Bank Holiday of August but I’m not showing it here.

The challenge has delivered a formula that has made people share and talk about it all over social media. Marketing and sharing mixed with fun gone viral.

That’s when I came up with the idea for this post – content marketing, branding, talking and promoting your businesses should be fun.

If we want people to engage and ultimately buy from us we need to be able show the human and fun side of our business rather than ‘how this solution will work for your customer or how your customer can save money with this’.

In case you didn’t know…

The ice bucket challenge involves a person being nominated by a friend or colleague usually via twitter or Facebook to have a bucket of ice-cold water thrown over you.

It works like this on twitter: I nominate XXX to take part in the #icebucketchallenge in the next 48 hours then you donate to the MND association.

Pretty much the same on Facebook.

How did it start?

In the USA by founding members of ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) also known as Lou Gehring’s disease named after the famous baseball player who died from it. In the UK it is known as the Motor Neurone Disease Association. [www.mndassoication.org]

28 million ice bucket videos have been uploaded, commented on or ‘Liked’.

From July 29 to 28 August ALS $98.2 million in the same period they usually receive $2.7 million in donations.

The MND association receives on average £200k a week in donations but from 22-29 August it had received £2.7 million.

Macmillan has also taken advantage of the phenomenon and raised an additional £3 million from challenges. [Source: BBC News.co.uk/magazine]

content marketing and big dataWhat does the ice bucket challenge have to do with content marketing?

The whole point of the campaign is to raise awareness of a hitherto unknown disease that hadn’t got the public’s attention until now.

The fun side of the challenge has made it ‘viral’. A great marketing ploy with an injection of fun to plug a brand, in this case to raise the awareness of the disease that is ALS.

The ALS have been very effective in their marketing, taking a silly idea and making it fun and then sharing it with an audience, many of whom had no idea initially what it was all about – now they do!

How can WE make our content marketing, messages and branding fun?

Think of something unique that your audience can relate to and have fun doing it. Your targeted audience can see the humour and will appreciate your message a lot more.

Whether you sell a service, solution or product no matter how mundane make light of what it is your organisation sells or provides not by ridiculing the product or services but by making the content for your marketing fun and humorous.

For example begin a blog, direct mail or email marketing piece with: “shake it if you get excited about selling widgets…” Or clap your hands if you love industrial machinery… and use a funny image like this:

Robbery C:O fbgags.com

Knowing your audience and personalising the message is important. Providing content that is fun to read for your audience makes them remember you so the next time they need to order widgets they know who to call.

Put yourself in your customers shoes. Most of their day is like yours, too many emails, meetings and not enough time to get things done.

For example if a customer places an order rather than sending an electronic order acknowledgment/notification that says:

Dear XXX

Thank you for the recent order you placed with us.

To make sure we get your delivery right please check the order. 

You could try something like:

Dear XXX

Thanks for ordering our fab widgets.

To say thank you we are giving a 10% coupon redeemable against your next order on any of our XYZ products so don’t forget to use it.

Jan, Pete and George are in the office from xx to xx call us if you need help with any of our products. Call us if you just need an online coffee and to have a chat with.

Add a daft image like this:

Baby chasing cat C:O funny-pictures.picphotos.netHow many times do you get impersonal emails? I get so many I cant count the number that bear no relevance to our company’s services.

An email newsletter that features amazing new updates, why you must buy this XYZ before mid-night. B-O-R-I-N-G.

Often content marketing goes into length about how wonderful the services, products and solutions are by boring the reader to death and then there is the history of the company and the team who work in the company.

Companies are more interested in finding out what it is we can do to help them rather than reading about the history of the company that started in 1066 A.D.

Why not focus on the customer instead.

What are their issues, how have you’ve helped similar companies, show them what they will get if they use your services rather than selling them the proposition.

Send a handwritten postcard to say thanks, it’s personal and it’s personalised and I can speak from experience that it goes down really well.

When you treat customers like people rather than someone on the end of an email the results can be surprising.

The next time you decide on a marketing campaign or write some copy for your company’s products think ‘people’ rather than ‘prospects’ and aim to make the customer laugh.

And Finally…

Why is the ice bucket challenge so successful?

  1. It’s simple, unique and so easy to take part. There’s no long-term commitment and people have fun which is how we want to be perceived, fun to do business with and fun to work with.
  2. Although it is for a serious cause it has raised awareness of MND and people like to share their stories happy or sad. It has the human element and is therefore emotional people want to be part of it and be seen to be doing something to help the cause. When people see that your company means business but also has fun they want to be part of that too.
  3. The call to action is a bucket of water thrown over your head. It costs nothing, there’s no requirement to buy anything, no personal information has to be given over just a straightforward donation to charity.

When customers visit your website, read your blog or follow you on social media if they see you having fun doing what you do that shines through.

People then feel compelled to get involved with you and your company and that is why the ice bucket challenge has been such a great success it’s a people story, human and emotional.

[Facebook robbery image courtesy of Fbgags.com]

[Baby chasing cat courtesy of funny-pictures.picphotos.net]

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leveraging the power of print outsourcing.

CMYK printing concept

In my last blog I discussed how print fits in to a cross media marketing campaign and how the effective use of a print management partner can really enhance the power of your cross media marketing.

Print is still a critical component of the marketing media mix because consumers demand choice. They dictate how they receive their marketing content from sales and marketing messages or specific information. content marketing and big data

This has resulted in the rise of cross media marketing and the multi-channel distribution of communications in both digital and print format.

But how do companies manage the process of ensuring their brand and messages are constantly heard when most marketing budgets have limited resources and less money to spend?

Print and digital outsourcing is becoming a viable and cost efficient alternative. Companies are seeking ways not to only manage their printed content but insisting on it being integrated into their social media marketing efforts and email marketing.

This has created a new type of print management company – one that can provide support and consultation across print and the various multi-media channels.

iStock_000034584126SmallPrint outsourcing can play an important role in improving customer communications driving costs down and improving business efficiency.

What has changed is the content and how print is used in the marketing mix.

Print is not always the final end product delivered to the customer.

It is now a mix of electronic and paper based communications which has evolved out of companies using digital and social platforms along with paper to deliver their message in the form of a payslip, invoice or direct mail piece.

Therefore print outsourcing is more than just simply removing business stationery to a printer down the road, it is the integration of a variety of disciplines such as consulting services for a marketing campaign, co-ordinating print and communications with social media channels and providing unique and customised solutions.

Hand holding a Solutions 3D Sphere

Print outsourcing encompasses all of the above and more and businesses are recognising the value of outsourcing and working with a print management partner who can offer more than just cheap printed business stationery but business efficiencies in the form of outsourcing, advanced print capabilities and print management expertise.

Why co-ordinate your print and marketing campaigns in-house when you can work with a print management partner that can manage the process. You know the benefits of outsourcing and its not the usual cliches – ‘its not a core business function’ it should be more about what you get out of the relationship.

Working in partnership with a print management company affords you the security of working with people who have expertise and can provide print and cross media solutions because they have access to an extensive network of pre-vetted and pre-qualified local printers and solution specialists with different capabilities.

This means not carrying the risk of managing equipment in-house along with the necessary staff, if one vendor should become less competitive, another vendor will take its place such is the network of a print management partner who can provide diversity through their supplier base.

Outsourcing print is not just about removing print from your bottom line it’s more than that, it is access to a wider network of print providers because print management companies take the time to build and nurture relationships with their network ensuring that they can deliver the right solutions that customers want.

Centralising your marketing and print campaign efforts reduce costs because you aren’t having to co-ordinate your time, resources and money spread over a number of different suppliers.

The main objection to a company outsourcing their print use to be there is little to gain by doing so. But as the digital landscape has changed businesses are realising they need to exploit the expertise, knowledge, solutions and services which print management partners can provide.

Consumers demand personalisation and print is one of the media channels through which organisations target their message. Print has to be integrated into the mix and this means that customer databases must be updated and relevant to ensure that communications are co-ordinated across all the channels.

Knowledge of print-flows and data files is essential to ensure that all the components of a marketing campaign are personalised and targeted to the right audience.

Customer satisfaction, loyalty, compliance and privacy means that customers receive only the messages that are relevant and useful to them and that their personal information is kept secure.

Working with a print management partner who has knowledge of data, postal automation, sortation, print, production, content and can co-ordinate print and mail with social media offers increased benefits to a business, not just through print.

In part 2 Choosing a print management services company? How do I find the right supplier to help me co-ordinate my cross media marketing and print campaigns?

 

 

 

 

Cross media marketing the case for digital VS print

cross media marketing

Has print really had it’s day and can digital really live forever?

In spite of the massive surge in digital communications, social media platforms and increased marketing personalisation, print continues to be a critical part of companies’ cross media marketing and communication mix.

Consumers or customers want choice and this requires a multi-channel communications delivery process or what is now referred to as cross media marketing.

I endeavour to promote print in the media mix I believe it continues to play an important role in our everyday lives. Some people enjoy reading in the digital world others like reading the printed word because it is tangible, personal and has fewer distractions.

Whether print remains or becomes extinct, newspapers, books, magazines and catalogues will no longer be the primary means of interacting with its audience in a profitable way. Is print really dead?

When the digital world gained momentum print was always going to be impacted with reduced volumes. The rise in digital printing allowed companies to order highly personalised printed matter from 1-50 or whatever the printed job required.

Print isn’t dead, not yet, but the reality is digital offers many advantages such as speed, flexibility, search-ability, target specific, customisation, interaction and direct.

It can be updated minute by minute and change according to what is in the news making it always up to date unlike its print contemporaries.

Digital reduces the overall cost to practically zero when compared to the production and printing of a magazine therefore how can print compete with ‘free’?

cross media marketingMarketers are already targeting their audiences online because it is cheaper and easier to deliver to market than print is; which involves design, content, production, proofing, finally print and distribution.

By the time the print job is complete it’s most likely to be out of date making digital a more attractive proposition for companies and marketing departments.

Digital affords the opportunity to engage with the audience online which is something print can’t do.

Technology and connectivity will advance and accessibility to online content will be an everywhere experience.

But I’d be surprised if print ever really goes away completely. Paper will survive because of the content it can provide to its viewer and because of the importance it has to play in the marketers’ cross media marketing campaign.

Online content is only part of the readers experience it doesn’t engage in the same way as reading a book or magazine.

Print is physical and is potent; pictures, text, strap lines, information that you can carry around with you in the form or a book, magazine, newspaper or cut out a relevant bit of information for keeping. cross media marketing

You can do the same in the digital world but it’s not quite the same and then of course there’s making the time to read it.

The role of content is changing people who are reading online need to read content that is informative, engaging and useful without feeling like they are being sold to.

Print, in this environment is becoming more powerful offering an alternative way to connect with the consumer in a world full of distractions.

Print is important for a higher level of personal engagement and not necessarily needed in the communications marketing mix all of the time.

To quickly illustrate, whilst schmoozing around a very well known top end car manufacturer franchise, because I happen to love cars, I overheard one of the salesman talking to potential customers who had requested a brochure.

Eavesdropping on the conversation the couple were interested in a particular model, they’d practically made up their minds what they wanted and had requested a brochure of the model to take home so they could decide their final colour/selection choices.

The salesman responded ‘ we don’t have printed brochures anymore, but you can download what you need from our website’.

I wasn’t surprised by the response from the couple, ‘seriously you expect me to spend £40K+ on one of your cars and the car manufacturer cant be bothered to provide a glossy brochure for me to take home?’

Digital can’t provide that glossy magazine that the couple wanted. I don’t know if they went back and bought the car but the point I thought was well made, print still has it’s place in this world.

If the couple had left with their brochure, a connection in the real world would have been made and at worst the salesman would have at least taken their details with a view to messaging them and further engaging until they did buy the car.

What is the future of print?

Marketing will continue to become even more multi-channel and as marketers become ever more savvy, print is likely to remain the channel that provides the first touch point before the consumer moves into the digital world.

A good marketing campaign will include print as part of it’s overall cross media marketing package.

Booklets, catalogues, magazines, newspapers can easily be electronically formatted for online viewing on tablets, mobiles and smartphones allowing additional tools such as embedded audio, video, links and other interactive content, something that print can’t do often before the ink is dry on the paper.

But if you are pondering on buying a new car or, you are deliberating over that kitchen you’ve always wanted there’s nothing like a nice glossy brochure to walk out of the showroom with.

 

Print management and cross media marketing

print management and cross media marketingThe last five years have seen an unprecedented rise in electronic and social media.

The final death bell for print would not have been an unrealistic thought.

Jump forward five years and print remains a respected medium used to deliver powerful marketing messages connecting the consumer in a world that has too many social media distractions.

Consumers want choice and each has a different need that is unique and personalised this has created a unique niche for a very different kind of print management company that is able to drive communications in both print and digital format. It also makes print outsourcing an important consideration for businesses to consider when planning a digital and print marketing campaign.

Being able to work with an outsourcing partner that can manage and integrate the various channels of communication makes it a very effective way of maximising business efficiencies and savings.

Brochures, magazines, books and direct mail communications can stand out from the crowd when good content and great design is paramount.

Print has one major advantage over its digital adversary – longevity and undivided attention from it’s audience. cross media and print management

When a piece of direct mail, postcard, catalogue is in the hands of the consumer they are more engaged than when online. The web and other electronic methods of communication serve up distractions with competing adverts and ‘noise’.

We live in an age of choice and consumers want to be communicated to the way they want.

They may be happy to receive an e-newsletter but might want printed statements and it is down to the marketers to deliver the right combination of personalised communications that suits each of their targeted audiences needs.

By making print stand out more with great content and design, adding colour providing excellent finishing thus creating a long lasting product only cements print’s relationship with the consumer by providing an engaging and a lasting connection.

How often do you receive a great piece of direct mail?

Maybe you were attracted by the message or it was an interesting information piece that you want to keep and then pin to your reminder board or to the fridge. Print has achieved its goal by creating a lasting impact.

Managing print and integrating it with a cross media marketing communications mix requires a lot of thought and effort and is a complicated process.

It requires a dedicated print management company with expertise in printing, design, database management, postal and fulfilment processes.

content personalisation

For many companies that level of print management skill and expertise is beyond most marketing departments and is not a core competency making outsourcing an ideal solution for improved print management internally.

Outsourcing the cross media marketing mix involves consolidating print management and print procurement with one company capable of delivering printed products with online electronic solutions in addition to being able to provide the vital consulting services needed to ensure that any cross media marketing campaign gives the best return on investment.

It’s a balance between co-ordinating print with communication across all channels.

Marketers gain a competitive advantage working with a print management partner by transforming the way they design, create, produce, distribute and integrate their customer communications.

Marketers benefit from outsourcing print management in the following ways:-

  • Optimising customer communications across digital and print channels
  • Maximise the skills and expertise of a print management partner with access to many suppliers
  • Brand identity is aligned by centralising all printed and digital marketing communications
  • Combining print spend across multiple clients maximises cost savings
  • Access to first class print production, pre-press, design and fulfilment optimising each campaign to the full
  • Greater speed and flexibility to market for revenue generating campaigns and critical customer communications
  • Compliance by working with a print management company who has already vetted and ensured their suppliers are able to deliver the marketers campaigns on time and in budget
  • Data quality management by improving bad data and removing duplicated information ensuring that personalisation is cost effective

Organisations who outsource their marketing communications gain by acquiring expertise, a dedicated print management team capable of managing the variables within a cross media marketing campaign without the marketer having to source this knowledge themselves.

The business of customer communications is ever changing.

With more channels to market to get your message heard requires an organisation to be agile in managing customer preferences across all channels.

Social media is continuing to develop it’s role in customer communication and real time mobile marketing and ‘local marketing’ are still being realised making it increasingly difficult for a company to manage these processes in-house.

Companies stand to gain benefits by working with a provider who have solutions that include print, digital and document management that can deliver personalised marketing.

Marketers can integrate their marketing campaigns like never before and provide bespoke personalised communications to match the customers wants resulting in stronger brands and increased customer loyalty.

Collaboration with a ‘print-neutral’ print management partner who can place communications jobs where their customers will get the greatest benefits ensures that the marketer gains expertise, consultation, access to a variety of multi-channel distribution networks, brand consistency and major cost benefits.

 

 

 

 

 

How to make your message stand out with cross media marketing?

content marketing and cross media

Who is your audience? Where can you find them? What do they want?

So far I’ve sang from the tree tops about the merits of good content, why personalisation is so important and how print fits into the cross media marketing mix.

But what I haven’t shared with you is how do you make sure your content is read?

I should make one thing absolutely clear, this is not a lesson in how to write great content for the internet, this is about how you get your marketing message to stand out from the crowd.

Cross media marketing combines highly personalised targeted messages across the various types of media to seek interaction and engagement with your niche audience.

Cross media marketing is a specific, targeted and measurable marketing strategy designed to deliver consistent, persuasive and actionable messages to your target customers using a variety of social channels over a period of time that engage and reinforce your company and brand.

But it is becoming increasingly difficult to be heard by your prospect let alone engage when the sheer volume of noise from the various social channels is densely populated with mass messages.

Businesses are further hindered by the number of social media channels to use, which one, or combination of platforms are likely to give the best yield of leads or conversions.

Smaller budgets in the current economic climate with which to carry out marketing are limited.

A successful content marketing campaign combining cross media marketing that delivers content and a call to action throughout the channels simultaneously as an integrated campaign.

Brand awareness is 44% print and 37% online media therefore the importance of your brand consistency is essential and it’s not just about making sure the logo is the same across all media.

What do I need to do?

Cross media marketing and print

Cross media marketing what is it and where does it fit in with social media and print?

1. Ensure your brand is coherent across all platforms including print, website, social media. Does it convey your message, your brand and does it represent what the company, service, product stand for?

By developing a consistent brand that delivers meaningful communication your brand effectively demonstrates a strong, authoritative company that knows what they are talking about and in turn this generates trust in your business.

Branding also gives you and your company an identity and personality so that your audience become familiar with you and what you do.

Ensuring you order marketing collateral from the same supplier will guarantee consistency of your brand in the way it looks, the feel and the overall quality.

Cross media marketing focusses on the audience and not the product or service, it is customer-centric and not product-centric therefore delivery of any content or message has to start with a deep understanding of your customer’s objectives and background.

2. Successful marketing messages start with a plan. By developing a well co-ordinated message, ensuring your customer database is accurate and up to date with names and addresses is key to developing the strategy and the content that will unveil itself across all the social media channels.

cross media marketing

A cross media campaign needs to start with a plan. Who is it for, what does the message convey? What is our goal?

3. Use the information you’ve captured about your prospect, you need to understand your audience and be able to identify which platforms they engage on the most. There’s no point sending SMS or using social media if your audience is 75+ and is more likely to be responsive to a direct mail piece. In the same way delivering a message via social media to an audience who are between 18-25 years is likely to be highly effective but it depends on the message and what you are targeting.

It would be like me sending a mass message about auto-enrolment and payroll to debt collection managers, wrong audience, wrong message.

4. Understanding your audience is paramount in developing engagement. Once that’s been done then personalising the content that takes into account all the information will make the prospect more compelled to read.

Each media platform delivers content differently therefore generating a different response. Printed media provides a physical piece of advertising that the customer can read and physically engage with if this is incorporated with an email campaign it creates a better response rate than email marketing on its own.

Knowing your audience can then guide you as to the type of message you want to deliver and what the call to action will be. As I said earlier consistency and continuity are key, use the same colours, logos, images so subliminally the audience start to associate the colours, or the look with your brand. It does work otherwise marketers wouldn’t do it, the constant reinforcing of the message ensures your audience remembers that message and when the time is right it invokes in us the desire to buy from that brand or company.

Personalising the content on the direct mail piece with a PURL moves the customer to a landing page that is completely relevant to him, by asking him for more information thus making future messages more targeted to suit him.

5. Send a follow up email using the information they supplied on the landing page and provide an offer or incentive to jump to the next stage.

6. Send an automated follow up email to those that haven’t responded to either the direct mail or your email making sure there is a PURL to encourage them to go to their personalised landing page.

7. In each of the steps integrate your social share buttons – facebook, Pinterest, twitter and include it on the printed mail piece, showing how and where your company or brand can be found.

8. Finally don’t forget to measure it. Look at your response rates, open rates on email and compile a simple spreadsheet so you can see who viewed what message and on what platform.

9. Start with a two channel campaign such as a printed direct mail piece with a PURL directing them to a landing page and link to facebook then add a third channel and so forth.

10. Remember the key is knowing your audience and making sure you deliver the right content there is no point in sending an email message to a 45 year old mother of 4 directing her to a 2 seater sports car landing page. She may well desire that very car but she’s practical and needs a vehicle that can carry 4 kids therefore the email message is unlikely to light her fire.

11. What makes content and cross media campaigns so useful is the way in which they can interact with each other thus increasing the likelihood of engagement = leads = customers.

Your message should drive your niche audience to do one action only – visit a landing page, register for an event, follow on a social media channel. Give them or ask them to do too much and they lose interest and the lead is lost along with the potential for engagement.

mindmap

A successful message is designed to promote your brand, develop customer relationships, show your company’s authority, subliminally seduce your audience in to remembering you so when they are ready to buy they come to ‘you’.

What do you think?

How important is it that the right message gets delivered to the right social media platform?

How relevant does your message need to be?

How can a print management company help with your cross media marketing and print?

cross media marketingThere are many benefits in working with a print management partner and one of my first blogs exemplified what a print management company can provide and how it can save a company real time and money.

With the recent developments in cross media marketing and content personalisation, working with a print management company will become an increasingly important part in the development of your business marketing strategy.

My last blog talked about the importance of content, used in the properly it can be a very effective way in engaging with the customer.

The most important aspect of any content marketing strategy is ‘interaction’.

Your marketing objective is to establish a conversation with the audience you are keen to interact with and this is where great content is key.

All of the media channels including print should be designed to facilitate the dialogue by slowly building confidence in the expertise and capabilities of your business or you.

Print media innovations are developing quickly, less than 15 years ago it would have been impossible to have a short print run of 50 12pp A5 brochures and to have them personalised and printed with variable information.

Digital print now makes that possible.

Perfume samples can be spot glued to magazines and natural essential oils such as lavender and lemon can be added to print inks to add fragrance to a page. Thermochrome inks can change colour with a change in temperature by rubbing the page to cause a colour change providing the reader with added excitement and intrigue when they read a newspaper or magazine advert or a direct mail piece with the intention of engaging with the reader on a personal level creating empathy resulting in  the buying of the product.

Invisible information, hidden messages or information seen only under certain light or after a set period of time created by using UV light sensitive inks traditionally used in the cheque printing industry to prevent counterfeit have found their way into marketing campaigns providing the customer with a different print experience.

How does print help me with my digital marketing strategy? cross media marketing

Print media can now include markers that link printed medium with digital media. The QR code (Quick Response) is a small square code that when scanned with a smartphone opens a file or links to a URL or a PURL enabling the viewer to engage with the brand or company.

AR (Augmented Reality) is hidden content, hidden behind marker images that can be included in printed and film media but when viewed using a mobile app open a world in which the brand is at the heart of the message or create scenes in which the brand and the consumer play a role.

VIP (video-in-print) brings the audio video channel to printed media. This is a small screen 90mm wide and just 3mm thick that can be inserted into a brochure or magazine and present HD video and audio. This technology adds content that could previously only be seen on television or heard on the radio.

How can a print management company add value to my marketing strategy?

Print media, television, online, mobile technology and social media are all vital components of a potential marketing campaign, whilst only the large brands and corporations are likely to use all components to market their content, the majority of businesses will use some of the platforms in conjunction with each other to promote content. With such a range of channels available how do you ensure that you are getting the right expertise, exposure and ROI for your marketing spend.

cross media marketingAnswer:

Step in the print management company

A print management company can provide a vast array of services and products through its distribution channels and trade supplier network, relationships that have been built up over many years. Print management companies year on year are able to save their customers 25%-30% on print spend. The job title ‘buyer’ doesn’t automatically make you an expert in print buying and knowing where to source what from who.

Print management companies are, by their very nature diverse, they’ve had to make changes to meet the needs of an ever changing marketplace and to accommodate the variety of needs of clients by being able to provide multi-channel services from data management, direct mail response and management, augmented reality, PURL’s, web to print, interactive QR codes, email and SMS marketing.

A far cry from ‘PRINT’.

Many companies find that by managing their cross media marketing efforts involves cross fertilisation of services from print to social media and companies don’t have the knowledge to deliver a cross media marketing project. Either companies will need to invest in staff that can manage the various components internally or outsource to get the best results.

What starts out as marketing or branding campaign designed for printed media, the next stage maybe email marketing and its distribution through various media channels. One person in an organisation wouldn’t be able to co-ordinate the process from print to social media let alone several people. Many don’t perceive print or social media as a core component of their business strategy because it involves so many stages, requiring you to be an expert in every channel.

Outsourcing to one company ensures that the right media channel is used for each of the respective marketing components in other words, print media with interactive QR codes might be the first step in the engagement process followed by email marketing with a PURL, SMS mobile marketing,  and so on.

A print management company doesn’t have a vested interest in anyone particular media channel or supplier, they will work with the customer/company to ensure that the brand, content, service or product is effectively positioned to get the best results.

One supplier, one contact for all your cross media and social marketing needs.

For more information on how cross media marketing can help your company click here